We’ve talked about it before, earned media is one of the best ways to build credibility for your business, service, or individual expertise. In addition, it can be a fantastic way to enhance SEO efforts and enhance your web presence as backlinks from highly rated sites are one of the best ways to increase the search rankings for your own website. One way to get these backlinks is from a contributed article strategy. Another way is through guest blogging.
Like a contributed article strategy, guest blogging puts you in front of a target audience and serves as a platform to educate, inform, and showcase your individual expertise. Whereas contributed articles tend to be more formal and speak to a more general topic such as marketing or business strategy, guest blogs can take a conversational tone and be tailored specifically to a micro-topic pertaining to your expertise. As with contributed articles, guest blogs are a great way to generate backlinks to your own site and build both domain authority and brand awareness. Ready to get started? Great! Here are three tips and best practices for a guest blogging strategy that will move the dial.
1. Do your research. Having your guest blog published on any old site isn’t necessarily worth the effort. Research readership numbers and domain authority. Check how often the site posts new content, how many comments and engagement each post gets, and the strength of its social following. Getting a blog post published on a site with a monthly readership of 56 isn’t going to help your website gain domain authority, nor will it help your brand increase visibility. Search engines do take notice of backlinks from high authority sites and a larger, engaged readership means more eyes on your messaging.
2. Build a relationship. High authority websites likely won’t publish a post from someone they don’t know. Begin building a relationship with the editors of the website by liking and sharing their content and providing useful comments on existing posts. Start a dialogue with editors so that when you are ready to pitch your guest post, they already know who you are and recognize your area(s) of expertise.
3. Create content with intention. When drafting your guest blog post, be sure the content is engaging. Will your post elicit an emotional response, spark conversation, or share unique and valuable information? It should! The more engaging the content, the more it will get shared and reposted. Plus you’ll be more likely to get invited to guest blog for the site again.
As with all types of PR, a successful guest blogging strategy is all about relationship building and providing relevant content. Bloggers, like any media professional, will be more likely to respond to people they know and people they’ve heard of. A guest blog pitch should check the same boxes as any media pitch. Is the blog topic timely, informative, and relevant to the audience? Is your opinion unique? Is your expertise worth sharing with a larger audience? Once you have these boxes checked, you’ll be well on your way to getting that guest blog post published. Happy writing!
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Diana Crawford is a seasoned public relations consultant with more than 15 years of agency, consulting, and in-house experience. She joined Orapin in 2013 and manages account services and client communications strategy development. She has worked across a variety of sectors and has expertise with professional services, food/alcohol, health and wellness, lifestyle, sports, education, tech, and non-profit industries.